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Southlake Animal Hospital
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Call us today! 219-942-0909

3570 E. Lincoln Hwy
Merrillville, IN 46410

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How To Relieve Itching In Pets

March 1 2024

Have you noticed that your furry friend has been itchy lately? If  Fluffy or Fido only scratches themselves occasionally, there’s probably no need to be concerned. It’s completely normal for our animal companions to experience an occasional itch! On the other hand, if your pet seems to be experiencing persistent or frantic itching, it might indicate that there’s an underlying issue. Here, a local Merrillville, IN  veterinarian shares insights on pets experiencing itching and provides helpful suggestions to alleviate discomfort for your furry companion.

Make An Appointment At Your Merrillville, In  Animal Clinic Right Away.

First things first: it’s important to determine the cause of your pet’s itching.  You won’t be able to properly help Fido and Fluffy until you know what the issue is. There are quite a few options to consider.

Here are some examples:

  • Fungal Infections
  • Allergies
  • Dry Skin
  • Parasites
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Shampoos
  • Medical conditions
  • Stress

Certain problems, like using the incorrect shampoo, can be easily resolved, but other issues, like bacterial infections, require veterinary care. 

Stay On Top Of Your House Cleaning Tasks

Remember to wash your pet’s bedding regularly with a non-scented detergent. Make sure to check the bedding label for detailed care instructions. If you can, wash it with hot water. It’s also a good idea to stay on top of dusting and vacuuming, don’t forget to change your air filters regularly!

Keep Up With Yard Work

Even if you’re diligent about your pet’s preventative care, pesky fleas, ticks, and mites can still sneak in, especially as the time for your furry friend’s next dose approaches. Property maintenance can make a big difference here, especially if you have fleas or ticks outdoors.

Here are some tips on that:

  • Mow your lawn regularly.  Bugs often hide in tall grass.
  • Clear away any debris, like branches and piles of leaves.
  • Make sure to avoid leaving stagnant water around. Rainwater in buckets can easily turn into breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
  • Trim back your hedges to ensure they aren’t touching your house.
  • Trim those overhead branches to let more sunlight into your yard.
  • Add beneficial insects, like ladybugs, to your garden.

Get A Humidifier For Your Home

Dry air can suck the moisture out of pets’ skin, just as it can with ours. This is often an issue in winter. If your vet has examined your pet and determined that dry skin is to blame, you may need to get a humidifier.

Proper hydration is also very important. You may want to set out extra water stations, or perhaps get a smart waterer. 

Keep An Eye On Pollen Counts

You might want to think about downloading a pollen tracker app. It’s a good idea to monitor the levels, especially when pollen is at its highest, like in the spring and fall. Cut down your pet’s outdoor time when the counts are high.

Keep Fluffy Inside

This particular topic would probably be more focused on prevention, but it’s still relevant. Kitties that venture outdoors are more likely to encounter fleas, ticks, or mites. Additionally, they are more susceptible to insect bites and chemical exposure. Plus, keeping Fluffy indoors is just better for her overall. 

Take Another Look At Your Pet’s Products, Especially Any New Ones

If you’re unsure about the cause of your pet’s itching, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. If you’ve recently changed your pet’s food, litter, or shampoo, or even got them a new bed, definitely let us know. In the meantime, you could consider giving the old brand another shot, or perhaps exploring a hypoallergenic alternative.

Keep Fido And Fluffy Happy

Pets can also become itchy due to boredom and anxiety. Take cats, for example. When they’re feeling stressed, they have a tendency to either groom excessively or neglect their grooming altogether, which can leave their fur looking messy and unkempt. Make sure to have a variety of toys and cozy beds for your pet, and make it a point to spend quality time with them each day.

Use A Gentle Shampoo

Did you know that shampoo could potentially cause your pet to feel itchy? Many of our adorable companions have very sensitive skin. Your veterinarian may recommend something mild, such as oatmeal shampoo. Don’t forget to rinse thoroughly!

Make Sure To Vacuum On A Regular Basis

Vacuuming alone cannot solve medical problems, but it can definitely help. That vacuum cleaner is really important if you’re dealing with a flea infestation, as it can effectively remove both fleas and their unhatched eggs from the carpet.

Vacuuming can also benefit pets with allergies, as it gets rid of dust, pollen, and dander in your carpets.

Notice How Your Pet Is Scratching

Simply watching your pet can be insightful. Let’s say your furry friend is pawing their head or rubbing it against something. Those specific behaviors may indicate an ear infection. Be sure to communicate this sort of information to your vet.

Stay On Top Of Your Pet’s Parasite Control

Dealing with a flea or mite infestation on your pet can be quite a challenge. Reach out to your Merrillville, IN  vet and make sure your pet is up to date on their preventative care. But if you’re dealing with an infestation, breaking the life cycle is also going to be important.

Vacuuming helps here. Get into the habit of vacuuming every day for a while. Once you finish, just pour the canister contents into a plastic bag, seal it, and take it outside for disposal. After the crisis is over, keep cleaning high-traffic areas on a daily basis, and do a more thorough vacuuming about once a week or so.


Fido tends to collect dust and pollen when he’s outside, especially on his paws and tummy. Always keep some pet wipes handy by the door, so you can quickly wipe down your canine friend before letting him inside. You can also use clean rags and a spray bottle filled with water.

To get Fido on board, teach him that he’ll be rewarded with a tasty treat for allowing you to assist him.

Maintain A Regular Grooming Routine

All of our furry friends have their own unique grooming requirements. Ask your vet for specific advice on this. 

Removing dead fur and dander from your pet’s coat is very important. Fido and Fluffy may become itchy if there is a lot of dirt and dead hair in their fur. Plus, they won’t be as well protected from hot or cold conditions.

Just make sure you aren’t overbathing: that can also cause itching.

Provide A Healthy Diet

Your pet’s overall health, including the condition of their skin and fur, is greatly influenced by their nutrition. It’s crucial to ensure that your four-legged pal is getting the right nutrition, as pets’ dietary needs can vary. Many pets, such as dogs and cats, can really benefit from foods that have fatty acids, like Omegas 3 and 6 oils. These ingredients work wonders in keeping their coats and skin well-nourished. Ask your veterinarian for some specific recommendations.

Regularly Schedule Appointments With Your Merrillville, IN Animal Clinic

When it comes to taking care of your pets, it’s always better to be proactive rather than reactive. It’s important to keep up with regular check-ups for your furry friend!

Is your pet experiencing any itching? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, your nearby Merrillville, IN animal clinic, anytime!